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Jack vs. Tiger: Who's the Greatest Golfer?

Greatest Golfer (GOAT)  

194 members have voted

  1. 1. Tiger or Jack: Who's the greatest golfer?

    • Tiger Woods is the man
      1634
    • Jack Nicklaus is my favorite
      815


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29 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

It does put Tiger above Jack's accomplishments though. If you look at it in terms of percentages,

Tiger Woods: 81 PGA tour wins, 15 Majors,

Jack Nicklaus: 73 PGA tour wins,  18 Majors,

Jack has 20% more Majors, 9% less PGA Tour wins.

I could easily say that Tiger had a much tougher time winning The Open Championship since it wasn't a popular tournament before the 80's. It was expensive to travel over the and the purse was small.

If you look at The Masters, Jack is quoted in saying that Augusta National was a much easier course back in his prime than when Tiger played it.

It's not much of a stretch in saying that in PGA tour wins, Tiger is way ahead of Jack.  The Open Championships alone could attribute to that 20% more majors by Jack. Throw in a tougher Augusta National, its easy to see that Tiger's 15 majors are at minimum equivalent to Jack's 18, but more likely worth more. It's not much of a stretch at all to say Tiger has clearly succeeded the achievements of Jack.

Lets debunk that for a bit,

You have Dallas Texas which that week saw high 90's and low 100's. Jack famously held up the trophy with a towel. The mean temperature for the month was 87 degrees. You have a total of .57 inches in the month of June (all in one day) leading up to the tournament. Basically, there was no rain for 41 of the 42 days leading up to the 12th of July.

weather-records-search-north-texas-dfw1.

Historical weather records featuring a complete weather archive for DFW since 1898, and numerous stations around North Texas dating back many...

I'll put this into perspective...

He hit a drive 341 yards on a course that was probably hard as a rock.

 

In 1964 in Columbus, Jack won the long drive contest again with a drive of 320:

 

og-default.png

News from around the web.

 

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19 minutes ago, iacas said:

Who cares? Does how far he hit it weigh into the topic here? 

It doesn’t for me.

Me either.

@LICC feel free to start a separate thread on Jack's driving prowess compared to today's pros (I'm pretty sure we have a couple of them already) if you want to discuss that, but it's OT here.

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2 hours ago, james_dunder said:

Not sure why you are referencing me, I only shared information on driving distance and pointed out that any discussion regarding who was best from very different times is speculation either way.  

I just felt @turtleback‘s post was more than speculation. Just wanted your thoughts on it.

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So I see saying  Jack was just a top 10 player (though charitably thought maybe top 5) and it is not clear if Jack was more accurate off the tee than Tiger. And oh yeah, Babe Ruth would be mediocre at best in Hank Aaron's era.

I couldn't imagine getting through  life not possessing such basic critical thinking skills.  This thread would be good to study for someone interested in how financial bubbles form or how cults sustain themselves.

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2 minutes ago, TigerIsNumeroUNO said:

I couldn't imagine getting through  life not possessing such basic critical thinking skills.

You appear to be doing just fine.

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2 hours ago, LICC said:

He was clearly significantly ahead of the rest of his peers with the driver.

Tom Weiskopf turned pro in 1964 and was longer than Jack. And hell, we hear all the time from the Mike Austin nutters.

Short answer, because again, this has nothing to do with the actual topic for almost anyone here. If you base your determination on GOAT on how far you make up in your mind someone might drive it in the modern day and age, you'll find yourself relatively lonely.

2 hours ago, LICC said:

The strength of field point is a valid one, but I think is getting a bit overblown here. In any significant PGA Tour event where most of the top players are playing (ie, not counting the swing season or tournaments played at the same time as WGC or majors), how often does anyone not ranked in the top 50 or 60 win? Maybe once or twice a year?

More often than you seem to realize. Sung Kang and Max Homa (who are STILL ranked only 61st and 93rd) won in back-to-back weeks.

2 hours ago, LICC said:

Before the PGA Championship Brooks Koepka said he counts out half the field as not good enough to compete to win before the tournament even starts.

You do realize Jack made similar comments (actually they were a "handful" of people, so even worse), and also that, at the end of the day… those are both just press clippings and opinions and things people say. Right?

2 hours ago, LICC said:

Yes, I give credit to Tiger for playing in tournaments with more good players than Jack did, but I don't think that discounts Jack's accomplishments very much at all.

It enlightens the comparison.

2 hours ago, turtleback said:

And Jack said that he only really needed to be concerned with a handful of players.  50% of the field >>>> a handful of players.

Yup.

1 hour ago, Wally Fairway said:

I will say that The (British) Open Championship had weak fields in the 60's and into the 70's - but the Masters is now what it was then

No it wasn't. International players (of which there were fewer) didn't come to play in the Masters with the same frequency as they do now.

1 hour ago, Wally Fairway said:

and the US Open had similar qualifying

Also not true. International players didn't travel to the U.S. to attempt to qualify; now what top players don't try to qualify in Columbus can do so at international sites specifically set up to allow for U.S. Open qualifying.

1 hour ago, Wally Fairway said:

while the PGA is the one event that still has 20 PGA club pros who qualify.

And in Jack's day the bulk of the field was PGA (club) pros. 20 is a concession to the past… that number continues to decrease.

Dude.

1 hour ago, Wally Fairway said:

I think the real point should be, that with the growth in the European Tour and the development of the Web.com Korn Ferry.com and other tours that the number of full-time tour players is so much larger than it ever was when Jack started (and even when he slowed his career) that (and this is the point @iacas and others have made very well) the tour players today are much better from 50-150, or 25-200 or any other non top 10/20/30 players from earlier eras.

Those reasons matter too. And are why I put out this theoretical graph:

strengths.png

43 minutes ago, TigerIsNumeroUNO said:

So I see saying  Jack was just a top 10 player (though charitably thought maybe top 5) and it is not clear if Jack was more accurate off the tee than Tiger.

Have you proven anything about either of those?

43 minutes ago, TigerIsNumeroUNO said:

I couldn't imagine getting through  life not possessing such basic critical thinking skills.  This thread would be good to study for someone interested in how financial bubbles form or how cults sustain themselves.

Right. So you've got nothing to add, so you attack people. Cool. 🙂

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1 hour ago, Wally Fairway said:

I'm curious where you pulled this 20-80% of the best golfers in the world?
I will say that The (British) Open Championship had weak fields in the 60's and into the 70's - but the Masters is now what it was then (and invitational that is highly regarded) and the US Open had similar qualifying, while the PGA is the one event that still has 20 PGA club pros who qualify.
I think the real point should be, that with the growth in the European Tour and the development of the Web.com Korn Ferry.com and other tours that the number of full-time tour players is so much larger than it ever was when Jack started (and even when he slowed his career) that (and this is the point @iacas and others have made very well) the tour players today are much better from 50-150, or 25-200 or any other non top 10/20/30 players from earlier eras.

 

Separate from these discussion - can we start a different thread for long drivers, because that has exactly ZERO to do with GOAT discussion.
thanx - okbai

Basically the 20-80% range is a wild eyed guess, but I can defend it. 

The early British Opens he played in probably didn't even reach 20% because the US was still far and away the dominant golf country yet not many Americans went over to play.

The early PGAs Jack played in had a lot more than 20 club pros.  Plus it was very difficult for top foreign golfers to qualify, so this may have reached 80% depending on what percent of the field was club pros, which is surprisingly hard to find.  My recollection was that they comprised about a third of the field, but I wouldn't rely on that.

The Masters' short field puts it right in that range.  Then and now.

The US Open was very difficult for foreign golfers because until about 1980 or so there was no qualifying outside the US.  Spending a lot of money to go to the US to play one round of golf - then, if successful, doing that again for regionals - and only if successful get into the tournament.  Not a very appealing prospect.  So basically no foreign players except those who played here full time.  Maybe a later one hit 80, but the qualifying process is based on single rounds, and a lot of even the top 100 had to qualify, so it is reasonable to assume a fair number of top 100 guys missed out due to the random element of playing one round well on a given occasion.

I am comfortable with my estimate.

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12 minutes ago, iacas said:

More often than you seem to realize. Sung Kang and Max Homa (who are STILL ranked only 61st and 93rd) won in back-to-back weeks.

I said 50-60 and you picked someone ranked 61. That is a hair split that actually favors my point. I said it happens once or twice a year. Not enough to justify that strength of field today is a major factor in the comparison between Jack and Tiger. The fact that the bottom half or more of the players in Tour events are better now than 50 years ago doesn’t mean that much when it’s the top 1/4th of the players doing almost all the winning anyway. 

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1 minute ago, LICC said:

I said 50-60 and you picked someone ranked 61. That is a hair split that actually favors my point.

Ummmm, he's ranked 61st NOW, less than a few months AFTER his win.

That win greatly boosted his ranking.

2 minutes ago, LICC said:

I said it happens once or twice a year.

And you're wrong.

2 minutes ago, LICC said:

Not enough to justify that strength of field today is a major factor in the comparison between Jack and Tiger.

Here's the thing, man: I don't use the OWGR or this "50-60" to support my claims re: strength and depth of field.

2 minutes ago, LICC said:

The fact that the bottom half or more of the players in Tour events are better now than 50 years ago doesn’t mean that much when it’s the top 1/4th of the players doing almost all the winning anyway. 

The bottom 50% of the field is better than 90% of the fields from the 60s and 70s.

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39 minutes ago, iacas said:

 

Have you proven anything about either of those?

Right. So you've got nothing to add, so you attack people. Cool. 🙂

Statistically Jack was straighter both in percentage and he ranked higher relative to his peers in an era that placed a higher premium on accuracy. And it should just intuitively be correct, because Tiger is known for being inaccurate off the tee. The end. Can I definitively prove Jack would be much better than just top 10? No. But Jack was so far ahead of anyone during his time and before with his record and his continued well play into more recent times. Jack was runner up for the Vardon Trophy in 1983 past his prime. The quality of play didn't jump that much in the thirteen years between that point and when Tiger joined. Jack won ten money titles despite playing fewer tournaments than any other top golfer in his era.  He didn't even qualify for the Vardon Trophy most years. Jack was the first or second best player every year of his career up until age 40 regardless of whether he won player of the year in the same way Lebron James or Michael Jordan is the best player every year regardless of who they give the MVP to. Jack was not just another very good player most years who had a long career. He was the best or second best nearly every year of his career up to 40.

I use other sports because I like people who have studied such things, not random internet opinions. That's why I linked the Ted talk.  Baseball has been studied more than any sport.

A guy just made the assertion Babe Ruth would be MEDIOCRE AT BEST against Hank Aaron's pitching. I can't prove that Babe Ruth would be a star in Hank Aaron's era with 100% certainty. But you can get 99.9% of the way there. Close enough. 

Here is Bill James pointing out how far of statistical outlier Babe Ruth adjusting for changes in era I feel like the guy who revolutionized how sports are analyzed has more credibility than random internet poster. And he was looking at 1927 to today. Hank Aaron played 40 years ago.

 

Edited by TigerIsNumeroUNO

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14 minutes ago, TigerIsNumeroUNO said:

Statistically Jack was straighter both in percentage

  • Jack hit it much shorter than Tiger, so by "degrees offline" we don't know who was "more accurate."
  • Jack played to wider fairways than Tiger typically plays to (which bounced and rolled out less, too), which would increase a player's fairways hit percentage.

You aren't comparing apples to apples, hence my comment that you haven't actually "proven" this to be true.

14 minutes ago, TigerIsNumeroUNO said:

Can I definitively prove Jack would be much better than just top 10? No. But Jack was so far ahead of anyone during his time and before with his record and his continued well play into more recent times.

He wasn't "so far ahead of anyone." Jack was, throughout his career, more often behind several players in any given year.

14 minutes ago, TigerIsNumeroUNO said:

Jack was runner up for the Vardon Trophy in 1983 past his prime.

Tiger won more Vardons than Jack.

14 minutes ago, TigerIsNumeroUNO said:

Jack won ten money titles despite playing fewer tournaments than any other top golfer in his era.

Tiger won more money titles than Jack.

Tiger was also player of the year more times than Jack.

14 minutes ago, TigerIsNumeroUNO said:

Jack was the first or second best player every year of his career up until age 40

Nope.

On 2/23/2018 at 2:46 PM, turtleback said:

No  it really is not close at all if you go blow for blow on stats.  Jack has more majors and that is about it (unless we want to look at pseudo stats like second place finishes).  In what other measurable stat is Jack ahead of Tiger?  In this thread are listings of the many ways Tiger is ahead of Jack, stat-wise.  Winning percentage, winning percentage in majors, margin of winning records (Tiger holds the record in all the majors other than the PGA), POY awards, Vardon trophies, winning streaks, stroke average margin over next best guy, winning streak in majors, cuts made streak, and on and on.  And all that is on the other side is 18>14.  Unless you have something more to back up your claim.

@turtleback, I believe, made a post at one point that detailed every year of Jack's career and talked about the years he could have won the Vardon or the POTY or the other awards, or what year he was clearly the best golfer. Long story short: the facts don't support your, uhhhhh, "recollection."

On 1/5/2014 at 2:08 AM, turtleback said:

And THIS is what you claim is more dominant than Tiger?

2000, won 3 major championships (and then won a fourth in a row with the Masters win in 2001).

2001 and 2002 won the Masters back to back (contrary to your assertion)

2005 and 2006, won the British Open back to back

1999/2000 and 2005/2006 won the PGA Championship back to back

2008 achieves triple career grand slam (6 years younger than Jack did it)

But how about some other measurements of dominance?  Like consecutive win streaks.

Tiger has won 7 in a row, 6 in a row, 5 in a row, and 3 in a row twice.

Jack has one winning streak of 3 in a row and nothing better.

 Since you bring up Player of the Year awards, Jack has indeed won it back to back twice and added one other for a total of 5.

Tiger OTOH, won it 5 times in a row (1999-2003), lost it in 2004 to Vijay, and then won it the next 3 years in a row - that is 8 out of 9 years.  And won it 3 other times for a total of 11 times.

Tiger also has 9 Vardon Trophies Jack has 0)

So remind me again of how Jack was more dominant that Tiger?

IIRC, he has another post with more detail than this, including the years Jack was "not eligible" for some awards.

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You just took a pretty solid beating on that last post @TigerIsNumeroUNO. Your statements were incorrect and followed with a fact. Come on man.

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7 minutes ago, iacas said:
  • Jack hit it much shorter than Tiger, so by "degrees offline" we don't know who was "more accurate."
  • Jack played to wider fairways than Tiger typically plays to (which bounced and rolled out less, too), which would increase a player's fairways hit percentage.

You aren't comparing apples to apples, hence my comment that you haven't actually "proven" this to be true.

 

But you ignored the most important part. He was more accurate relative to the average player on tour than Tiger is to the average today.

 

2 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

You just took a pretty solid beating on that last post @TigerIsNumeroUNO. Your statements were incorrect and followed with a fact. Come on man.

Ummm.. No I didn't. He said nothing in that post. Nothing. That was a zero value added post. And he still thinks it is isn't clear Jack was more accurate. You are not smart enough to have an opinion.

Edited by TigerIsNumeroUNO

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3 minutes ago, TigerIsNumeroUNO said:

But you ignored the most important part. He was more accurate relative to the average player on tour than Tiger is to the average today.

That's your response to me saying you're not comparing apples to apples?

3 minutes ago, TigerIsNumeroUNO said:

Ummm.. No I didn't. He said nothing in that post. Nothing. That was a zero value added post. And he still thinks it is isn't clear Jack was more accurate. You are not smart enough to have an opinion.

I didn't say it wasn't "clear." I said you've not proven it. You haven't.

🤦‍♂️

Since you're now including shit like that last sentence, the rules for you are:

  • No more talk of distance or accuracy from you (or @LICC) in this topic. It's off topic, and we've said this a few times.
  • You're on thin ice with the name-calling, so anything remotely troll-like will likely result in one of the non-involved mods being asked to take a look at your posts in this topic.

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59 minutes ago, turtleback said:

The early PGAs Jack played in had a lot more than 20 club pros.  Plus it was very difficult for top foreign golfers to qualify, so this may have reached 80% depending on what percent of the field was club pros, which is surprisingly hard to find.  My recollection was that they comprised about a third of the field, but I wouldn't rely on that.

Actually it was more like two thirds club pros:

https://www.si.com/vault/1968/09/16/614249/rebuttal-to-a-searing-attack

"There were only 56 touring pros in the starting field of 168 players at San Antonio. One day a writer asked me about this ratio, and I said, "It's absurd and unfortunate." Only a third of the players at the PGA were regular tour competitors—or, in other words, the best players in the world. The PGA's antiquated qualifying system prevented top players such as Bob Murphy, Lee Elder and Deane Beman from playing at San Antonio. " --- Jack Nicklaus

And of all the British or European Order of Merit winners from 1955 through 1975, all but one of them never played in either the US Open or PGA in their entire lives.  The one exception, Peter Oosterhuis, never did it before 1975.

 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, TigerIsNumeroUNO said:

But you ignored the most important part. He was more accurate relative to the average player on tour than Tiger is to the average today.

 

Ummm.. No I didn't. He said nothing in that post. Nothing. That was a zero value added post. And he still thinks it is isn't clear Jack was more accurate. You are not smart enough to have an opinion.

Dude, what the hell are you doing?  @iacas and I (and other members) have had disagreements and he gets frisky sometimes, but why are you saying really stupid things about people?  

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